My first introduction to actress Vanessa Ferlito occurred during the third season of Keifer Sutherland’s magnum opus, “24”. Vanessa portrayed Claudia Hernandez, the reluctant girlfriend of Hector Salazar (Vincent Laresca), a Mexican drug lord with access to deadly virus that Jack Bauer (Sutherland) has gone undercover to stop. She was very good in this role and she displayed her real life love of body art.
Vanessa (who is of Italian descent, but known mostly for playing Latina roles) had a difficult early childhood. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she suffered the loss of her father to a heroin overdose when she was just two years old. Fortunately, she had a strong support system with her mother and, when her mother remarried, her stepfather, who raised her while also running a Brooklyn hair salon.
Vanessa made her acting debut in 2002, staring in the sexual comedy “On_Line”, where she portrayed one of the stars of an adult webcam site. It received viewings at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals. Vanessa soon got other small roles in shows like “Third Watch”, “Law & Order” and the Edward Norton film “25th Hour”.
2003-2004 was Vanessa’s breakthrough period. She had her major role in “24”. She also had a cameo on the “Sopranos” and “CSI: Miami”, while also being in the summer blockbuster “Spiderman 2″.
The next years saw her as one of the stars in the murder-comedy (yes, you read that right), “Man of the House” (starring Tommy Lee Jones). She also parlayed her guest spot on “CSI: Miami” into a regular role on its spinoff “CSI: NY”. Most notable during this time was her performance as Arlene in Quentin Tarantino’s ode to 70’s pulp films, “Grindhouse” (She was in the segment “Death Proof”).
She scored roles in some more major theatrical releases, such as “Julie and Julia” and “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” before making a move back to the small screen for a significant lead role. She stars in the USA drama “Graceland”. In it, she portrays FBI agent ‘Charlie’ DeMarco, one of several undercover law enforcement officers lodging together while they work major cases. Already in its second season, we should be seeing more of Vanessa for the foreseeable future.
Vanessa’s role in “24” showed she has an appreciation of body art. A dream catcher could be seen on her left shoulder. This was not for the role. It was her real life tattoo.
On her left wrist, she has a tribute to her late father with ‘Dad’ and a star inscribed.
Vanessa also appears to have a design of a spade or an apple on her right wrist.
On the back of her left bicep, she has an unknown design.
Finally, on her right bicep, she has the date ‘9-21-07′ inscribed, for the birth date of her son, Vince.
I could not locate any official, or fan, websites for Vanessa. I was not able to find a verified Twitter account for her either.
However, Vanessa seems to have a presence on Instagram: http://instagram.com/vanessaferlito